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Newfoundland-born Jonathan Gushue is the chef and co-owner of downtown Kitchener’s The Berlin, open since late 2015.
Gushue took his culinary training at Georgian College, Barrie, Ont., and spent his formative cooking years in London, England. In 2001, he cooked at Vancouver’s Wedgewood Hotel Relais & Châteaux as the executive sous chef before heading to the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver as sous chef tournant. After a year, Gushue became head chef at Truffles Restaurant at Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel under Lynn Crawford and where he helped maintain its CAA/AAA Five Diamond status.
In November 2005, Gushue arrived in Waterloo Region to head up the kitchen at Langdon Hall Country House Hotel, a Relais et Châteaux property. Gushue was instrumental in Langdon’s continued run holding a CAA/AAA Five Diamond Award, and he became a Relais & Châteaux “Grand Chef,” the equivalent of two Michelin stars. He and staff put Langdon on the San Pellegrino list of best 100 restaurants in the world in 2010.
Here’s how Gushue answered our 23 questions.
Jonathan Gushue: Sea urchin.
Other career you could have pursued?
Beverage that once just about killed you?
Chef you’d most like to meet?
Gushue: [long pause] This sounds arrogant, but there are many I have met. Immediately comes to mind are Joel Robuchon and Marco Pierre White. I mean I’ve met them, but we haven’t sat and had dinner. Otherwise, I would like to meet Eric Ripert.
Best footwear (for the kitchen or otherwise)?
Favourite “international” food in Waterloo Region?
Gushue: [pause] Clearly, I don’t get out enough. Thai.
What scares you in a kitchen?
Gushue: Deep fryers.
Greatest failed recipe?
Gushue: Dried capelin. You’ll see it on the beaches in summer in Newfoundland.
Something that gives you great pleasure?
Gushue: Being with my family.
A favourite teacher you’ve had?
Gushue: Mrs. Howard, grade four. Specifically geography.
Do you ride a bike?
A moment in your life you’d like to have back?
Gushue: My time in Japan.
Where were you born?
Gushue: St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Gushue: Led Zeppelin.
Who would you like to cook for?
Gushue: [long pause] There’s so many but I’d like to cook for Alice Waters.
The thing you wish for Waterloo Region?
Gushue: Happiness and prosperity.
Go-to late-night snack?
Gushue: Lately, flax-seed tortillas.
Best thing about being a chef?
Gushue: It’s new every day.
Most dumbest purchase you’ve ever made?
Gushue: The dumbest purchase? I’ve purchased lots of stupid cars. What strikes me is food and going back to that capelin.
Gushue: New York.
TV chefs who annoy you?
Gushue: So many, although I don’t watch food television. I’ll join the bandwagon and say Guy Fieri.
Would you describe yourself as sweet or savoury?
Gushue: I guess savoury.